Fabulous First Grade in Rm. G3

Weekly News About 1st Grade in Mrs. Takeshita's Class

Thank You for a Terrific Teacher Appreciation Week!

I felt truly blessed this week to have so many forms of appreciation! Thank you to the Xu family, the Farrokhi family, the Dorward family and the Ahmed family for bringing me lunch this week! I also am grateful for all the donations of books for our classroom library, flowers, treats, gift cards to my favorite places to eat and the $100 gift card to Target. I also LOVE the book of letters from your kiddos. If I ever need to "fill my bucket" on a day when I am feeling down, I will just read the letters from your children. You have made me feel very lucky to have such a wonderful group of parents and students. Thank you to Danielle Dorward for organizing it all and making it all possible!

Writing Notebook Questions...

A few parents have shared some questions regarding the writing notebooks that I have sent home. Maybe you have been wondering the same things so I am happy to share my responses with everyone.

Should I help my child with his/her spelling in their writing notebook?

The short answer is no. The purpose of the notebooks isn't so your child can practice writing everything correctly. The purpose of the writing notebooks is first to build writing fluency (writing at a faster pace that keeps up with the thoughts of the writer) and second to help your child see that writing is a fun way to express one's thoughts.

When do they correct their spelling?

Later, AFTER your child is finished with their six or seven minutes of writing, you could have them look through a short section (two to four sentences) for any of their "55 No Excuse Words" that might be misspelled. You could look beforehand and then tell your child, "There are ___ words misspelled. Can you find them in this section?" Do not have your child try to correct every word that is misspelled. I don't want your child to look at this writing notebook like it's a chore. If your child gets frustrated, then it is a good idea to stop and let them calm down. The correction of spelling and the editing of sentences comes into play when your child is getting his/her writing ready to be displayed in a final draft.

Do you grade these notebooks?

I will be looking for them at the end of the month, mainly to check that your child is doing weekly writing. I won't be grading them for grammar or correctness. I will be reading them to see what they are able to do in their writing.

Can my child write more than 6 or 7 minutes?

Of course! If they want to write for longer periods of time or more than twice a week, that would be terrific.

My child doesn't know what to write about? Can you give them ideas?

Your child can make lists (for their birthday or what they want to do on the weekend) or write down their thoughts about the day. Some kids like to write about something they learned or read. Whatever your child likes to do or talk about is always a great thing for them to write about.

Retelling Rope information

I have sat with many of your kiddos and listened to them retell stories from their RAH envelopes in the past few weeks. One mistake that I have noticed that some of my more confident readers make is that they will give exactly one sentences for each part including the B, M and E (beginning, middle and ending or the plot of the story). It is important that your child give details for each part of the story. They don't need to tell everything that happened word for word, but it is important that they can give a few sentences for each part. When I do test them to see what reading level they are at, the more I have to prompt them to retell, the score does drop down. I tell them to retell the story to me like it's a movie that I didn't get to see and I would love to hear what happened. The more your child practices retelling a story, the easier it gets. Please take the time to listen to your child retell what s/he is reading (RAH envelope or self-selected book).